MoneyGuidePro, PIEtech's financial planning program for advisers, has released the fourth generation of its software, the company's attempt for its users to be right in line with the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, which requires all advisers act in their clients' best interest on retirement accounts.
Updates for the latest version include features on client goals, life expectancy, household risk tolerance, health care and social security. Advisers are also prompted to discuss what their clients — addressed either as a single client or broken down into separate spouses — are concerned about, which can open up opportunities to learn aspects of clients' lives advisers may otherwise not have known to ask, said Kevin Knull, president of PIEtech, during a visit at the company's office in Powhatan, Virginia.
Retirement has been a main focus for the government and industry, especially this past year, as the DOL geared up to release its final fiduciary rule. Technology vendors across the industry have been updating or developing programs to meet the new needs of advisers, whether that be managing small accounts or building a solid setup of software to address compliance, archiving and organization. Now under the new rule, advisers must ensure they can support their investment recommendations in retirement accounts.
“The DOL may have unintentionally made financial planning critical, as advisers now must defend that their recommendations were in the client's best interest,” Mr. Knull said.
Mr. Knull said the new program shifts gears to a client-centric model, from being adviser-centric in previous versions, to assist professionals in delivering a better financial plan.
A MoneyGuidePro study found 6% of advisers' financial plans include specific costs of health care, and 12% of plans incorporated Social Security analysis. Health care costs are automatically inputted into the financial plan with details based on client information, and cannot be decreased. Strategies for claiming Social Security are another feature of the new update. Mr. Knull said these are often a major gap in financial plans.
There is also an updated client portal, which includes an area for clients to move around "what if" scenarios in their goals and tweak their plans to see how changes in one section would impact another category of their finances. Clients can save and send the changes to advisers for review.
Updates to correct earlier version of the story to include the full quote, and to add the word "unintentionally" instead of "intentionally."